Do You Have a Bed Bug Bite?
Out of all the pests we exterminate at Final Exterminators, bed bugs strike the most fear into homeowners throughout the Moreno Valley area.
These small, reddish-brown insects may not look like much, but they pack a powerful bite that can accompany other symptoms.
Bed bugs aren’t very big. Each one is about the size of an apple seed, which measures around 1 to 7 millimeters long. As such, the insects have a tendency to hide in the crevices between your mattress or in your box spring. Bed bugs may even be in your headboard, only to venture out once you are peacefully asleep.
If you suspect you have been bitten by a bed bug, the following information should help. Here is the complete guide to the bites caused by nature’s tiny, troublesome bloodsucker, the bed bug.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Some people never show any symptoms at all after being bitten by a bed bug. That means you could have a problem and not know it.
For other people, the bites become inflamed. Bed bug bites can show up on any area of your body where there is skin.
The bites themselves may appear red and swollen with a dark spot in the center of each bite. Many times, the bites show up in arranged lines or clusters. It is not uncommon to have multiple bites grouped together. Some bites go on to develop blisters.
Bed Bugs vs. Flea Bites vs. Mosquito Bites
In some cases, it can be difficult to identify bed bug bites. That is because the bites can resemble the stings and nibbles you may receive from other insects. Here is a quick rundown so that you can tell if it’s a bed bug, bite or if the bite you experienced might be a flea or mosquito bite instead.
Flea bites and bed bug bites have much in common. Like bed bug bites, flea bites can occur anywhere the insects have access. They are most commonly found on your legs and feet, but they can also be found on your waist and armpits. The bites appear blotchy and continuously itch, and sometimes develop a rash. This makes flea bites very similar to bed bug bites.
You can tell if you have a flea infestation by wearing white socks around the house. The fleas will be attracted to the white color and will jump on your socks, allowing you to identify them.
Bed bug bites can also resemble mosquito bites. If you are staying at a hotel in the winter and you wake up with bites that look like mosquito bites, you know you actually have bed bug bites (because mosquitos aren’t around in the winter).
Identifying bed bug bites during the warmer months may be a tad more challenging. Both mosquito bites and bed bug bites are raised, red, and swollen. However, mosquito bites usually happen on their own as opposed to clusters. Bed bug bites are more organized. They may appear in a zigzag pattern and usually have a black dot in the center of the bite.
You can also tell if you have bed bugs by the dark red or black stains on your bedsheets, which is digested blood left behind in the insects’ droppings.
Bed Bug Bites vs. Hives
Hives cause your skin to break out in red bumps as the result of an allergic reaction or other cause. Like bed bug bites, hive rashes can be itchy. However, you know you have hives if the red bumps get larger or change shape, or if they spread to other parts of your body.
Hives can also sometimes accompany other symptoms, like dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
Do You Only Get Bed Bug Bites at Night?
Bed bugs prefer to come out at night, but you don’t need to be sleeping to be bit. You don’t even have to be lying still for bed bugs to find you delicious. While sleeping people are most likely to be attacked by bed bugs, the insects do not discriminate and will feed with abandon at the first chance of a host.
Do They Hurt and Are There Other Symptoms?
When a bed bug decides to feed on you, it first injects you with a substance that prevents you from feeling the bite. Who knew that bed bugs were so polite? Even though you can’t feel the bite at the moment the bed bug begins to feed, you might feel it later.
Bed bug bites don’t hurt necessarily, but they can itch and become inflamed, in some cases.
You usually don’t know that you have been bitten by bed bugs until the following morning when you find the welts. For some, the bites don’t show symptoms for several days.
Bed bugs most often take more than one bite. They also need to bite several times until they find a blood vessel. Therefore, just because you have several bites doesn’t mean there were multiple bed bugs. You might have a single very hungry bug.
Fortunately, bed bugs are not known to spread diseases in humans. The bites can leave an open wound on your skin, however, which can become infected with constant scratching.
Though no link has been found, bed bug bites leave you susceptible to infection by bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can spread by way of open wounds.
Can You Prevent Bed Bug Bites?
Unfortunately, there are no sprays or lotions you can apply to your skin to ward off bed bug bites if you have an infestation. If the insects have not yet infested your mattress, move your bed away from the wall and make sure your bedding stays off the floor. A dish with water under each bed leg will then prevent the insects from climbing onto the mattress.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
If you experience itching after being bitten by bed bugs, apply a skin cream containing hydrocortisone or take an antihistamine to relieve the sensation as the bites heal.
When bed bug bites accompany other medical symptoms, it is recommended that you seek the care of your general practitioner. For example, if you wake up with bed bug bites and you also have shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, dizziness, or fainting, you might want to see a doctor right away.
While medical treatment isn’t usually needed with bed bug bites, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction.
How to Find Bed Bugs in Your Home
If you have confirmed that your bites are indeed from the nasty little bloodsuckers, the next step is to call an exterminator. We will come out to your home to identify the source of the infestation before eradicating your pest problem fast.
If you want to find the bed bugs yourself, there are a few steps you can take. Just make sure you know what you are looking at when you do find the insects. A recent study shows that 35% of American business travelers and 28% of leisure travelers were unable to identify bed bugs when compared to other insects of similar size.
Some people mistake bed bugs with other insects like carpet beetles. It is critical to get the infestation source correct. If you do have bed bugs, you will want to exterminate them quickly before the problem becomes more widespread.
A bed bug infestation can be especially difficult to identify if you come across bed bug nymphs, which are less than 5 millimeters in length, are whitish-yellow or clear colored, and are practically invisible without a microscope or magnifying glass.
Bed bug adults are far easier to spot. The insects have an oval-shaped body that is fairly flat unless it has recently fed. When bed bugs feed, they become inflated with a deeper shade of red, which is a clear sign of blood engorgement.
You can pinpoint an infestation by finding the source of the insects’ eggs. Only when all the insects and eggs are removed from your home is your infestation said to be under control.
On average, a female bedbug can produce 350 eggs over her lifetime. Females that are actively laying eggs tend to increase the volume and frequency of their feeding to support their offspring.
You can usually find bed bug eggs in the same location the female chooses to nest. The eggs themselves are barrel-shaped, pearl-colored, and measure about the size of a pinhead.
Look for bed bugs and eggs in the seams of your bed. Bed bugs also like upholstered furniture, which is filled with hiding spots. The insects prefer nesting areas that give them easy access to sleeping humans, including bedrooms. This means that you are likely to see bed bugs in apartments and condominiums, large office spaces, hotels, vacation rental homes, cruise ships, daycares, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Other places where bed bugs tend to hide include secondhand furniture, items of luggage, chairs or loungers where people fall asleep, moving or storage boxes, shipped items that have been held at several warehouses, and bedding.
Don’t think that you can just clean your home to get rid of bed bugs. The insects don’t care if you are dirty or clean. They will nest and feed while you are sleeping, no matter how spotless your home happens to be.
Similarly, don’t think that you can simply vacuum the insects up, as bed bugs have also been known to flourish in vacuum canisters.
How to Rid Your Home of Bed Bugs
The key to stopping bed bug bites is to rid your home of the insects altogether. The first course of action is to stop the insects from entering your home. If you are already infested, you must stop the insects from breeding.
The DIY approach rarely works, because the insects can hide in the unlikeliest of places and the eggs are usually left to hatch. Only a trained and experienced exterminator can identify your bed bug infestation and eradicate the problem fast.
How Much Does Bed Bug Control Cost?
The more extensive your infestation, the more expensive treatment tends to be. For that reason, it is important to call an exterminator at the first sign of bed bugs if you want easier and less expensive bed bug treatment.
On average, homeowners spend $1,000 to $2,500 for bed bug extermination. For extensive infestations, the treatment may be higher. Similarly, if spot-treatment is all that is required, your treatment may be less expensive. Only a free quote can determine the exact fees you are likely to pay for professional bed bug treatment.
We use a variety of treatments to rid your home of bed bugs. The type of treatment we use depends on the type and size of the infestation you have.
Some of the most common treatments for bed bugs include:
Heat Treatment: This bed bug treatment is for major infestations. The source of the infestation, such as your bedroom, is heated to over 120 degrees. This kills the bed bugs and their offspring.
Pesticide Dust & Sprays: These treatments are for spot-treating the bed bugs where they tend to rest, such as inside your mattress.
Crack and Crevice Injections: These treatments are also for spot-treating and can help to kill bed bugs and their eggs for permanent pest eradication.
Mattress Encasement: This treatment limits the exposure of the rest of your bedroom to the bed bug treatment but isolates the bed bugs so they can be exterminated entirely.
Get a Free Quote for Bed Bug Treatment in & near Moreno Valley, CA
Waking up with red welts can leave you wondering about the cause. If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, we recommend that you act quickly. At Final Exterminators, we have worked with homeowners of all types and have seen all levels of bed bug infestation.
Whether you have a few bugs or many, only total eradication can free you from the itchy bites for good. Our treatments are proven throughout the areas of Moreno Valley and Riverside, California.
Before you try the DIY route, which is most often ineffective, contact the professionals. We can come to your home to provide you with a free quote. Contact us today to learn more.